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Pros:
Cons:
  • Small size and interesting design
  • Built in hardware firewall
  • One IP address shared by all computers
  • Easy installation and configuration
The Uplink port and port 1 are shared

Conclusions:

With spiraling increases in cost to add 4 ports at a time you would be better off considering a large switch 8,12, or even 16 ports right off the bat if your network is that large. For the home user the 4 port design of this unit is great. I hooked up my old 5 port hub behind it for testing and found I had no problems whatsoever. I simply entered the browser based setup program and told it to create more ports.

The design is well laid out and details such as the power cable received consideration. I liked the ability of the unit to be stacked one on top of another to save space and the fact that they could not slide off each other when stacked in such a way. I would have like that the Uplink port and port 1 were not shared. When using the Uplink port you will have to move your ethernet connection from port 1 to port 2. Port 1 will no longer be usable with the Uplink port used. If that is the cost of having such a good switch installed in the unit then I can certainly learn to live with it.

The inclusion of the built in firewall technology is a great feature. I use a software firewall for each of my computers, but the extra layer of protection that the Cable/DSL Router provides is invaluable. I use to get about 10-100 port probe attempts a day. I haven't recorded any since I began using the Cable/DSL Router. The vast majority of port probes are benign. They usually originate from web ad servers or web sites where your IP address has been recorded. This firewall technology also allows me to hide how many computers are hooked up to my cable modem. What I would have invested in purchasing IP addresses from my ISP I spent on this router. I feel that is money far better spent than simply buying each computer its own IP address.

Because of its well thought out design, ease of installation and configuration, and firewall/IP address sharing capabilities I have given the Linksys BEFSR41 Instant Broadband EtherFast Cable/DSL Router the TargetPC editor's choice award. A switched network is a vast improvement over a conventional hub network and what was only available to commercial and industrial users has finally come to the home broadband user.

Victor Oshiro
00/06/22


 





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